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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Bag of Fleas

Bag of Fleas

director: Vera Chytilova
original title: Pytel blech
country: Czechoslovakia
year: 1962
running time: 44 min.

synopsis

Although this film might seem to viewers to be purely documentary, the opposite is true. Věra Chytilová, in her mid-length debut, focuses on the life of girls in boarding schools using her own personal style. She opened the way for other filmmakers to explore heretofore undiscovered topics. 

biography

Věra Chytilová (1929-2014) was one of the pillars of the Czech New Wave and is considered to be among the most significant creative figures in Czech cinematography. In the majority of her films, she addresses the fate of women and their experiences in modern times.

more about film

director: Vera Chytilova
script: Vera Chytilova
photography: Jaromír Šofr
editing: Marie Čulíková
music: Jan Klusák
sound: Gustav Houdek, Jan Kindermann

other films in the section

Why?
Why? That’s the question that Evald Schorm posed, and he set out to answer why the Czechoslovak population is aging. The sensitive camera work by Jan Špata draws us into the apartments of families with children, as well as to hospitals where abortions are performed. A pervasive social probe revealed dismal living conditions, primarily of the younger generation.

Why?

Evald Schorm
Czechoslovakia / 1964 / 29 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
A Generation Without a Monument
The filmmakers managed to capture the atmosphere of the establishment and operations of small format theaters in Czechoslovakia. As the example of “provincial” theaters across the republic demonstrates, free and satirical works were able to spring up in the relaxed 1960s in various corners of our country, even in the poor conditions that these theaters operated in.

A Generation Without a Monument

Rudolf Krejčík
Czechoslovakia / 1964 / 28 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
Respice finem
A documentary study focusing on the lives of lonely old women in villages. They recall their youth and wait for death, which they consider to be a natural part of life. They have one common concern - to not bother anyone with their deaths, and they don’t want anyone to worry about them.

Respice finem

Jan Špáta
Czechoslovakia / 1967 / 15 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
Mud-covered City
A somewhat ironic documentary study focusing on the ambivalence of new neighborhoods. The filmmaker focuses on poorly-planned new buildings: enthusiastic young families with children move into their new home, but the area around the panel apartment blocks is one huge mud puddle, forcing mothers with prams and forlorn children to traverse it.

Mud-covered City

Václav Táborský
Czechoslovakia / 1963 / 9 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
Reflection
A multilayered documentary film draws the viewer into a hospital environment, where we meet not only patients, with their fears, pains, and joys, but also doctors. Jan Špata’s brilliant, sensitive camera work allows us to penetrate the souls of the various figures, even touching at the end on the serious topic of suicide.  

Reflection

Evald Schorm
Czechoslovakia / 1965 / 32 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
The Fog
Radúz Činčera captured artistic pleasure and the beauty of ordinary days at the Na zábradli Theater in a very unusual way. We follow the actors’ performances on the stage, while technical details about the theater are shared with the viewer. The title “Fog” may be an allusion to escape into the theatrical world from impending danger.    

The Fog

Radúz Činčera
Czechoslovakia / 1966 / 29 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
Romeo and Juliet 63
A film that successfully captured passion for art. Its subject is a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the National Theater. We observe not only the actors and director, but we also get a look behind the scenes, which has a life of its own. The film has a philosophical level that reflects the tendencies of the time. 

Romeo and Juliet 63

Radúz Činčera
Czechoslovakia / 1964 / 46 min.
section: Cinéma vérité in the 1960s Czechoslovak doc. cinema
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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